Just looked at a 1957 house. As you might guess, there was 2-wire romex and (nice surprise) and FPE panel. Here's what has me curious:
Every room seems to follow the '12 ft rule' regarding receptacle spacing on three of the four walls. The remaining wall typically has about 6ft. of wall exposed between the open door to the room, and the door to the closet. No receptacles are in this space, or in the remaining 30" behind the door swing.
I can only guess that, in 1957, this wall was not required to have a receptacle. If this guess is correct, can anyone identify the first NEC edition that did require one?
Another thought just came to me. My first house was built in 1955, the year my brother was born. We moved into a brand new house back then and I seem to remember that there was an outlet on every wall. We did have a FPE panel though. It was switched out many years ago. It was a small typical Cape Cod house in a post war boom town development.
Harold, I had considered that approach. It's certainly unlikely that anything would be placed along those walls.
Yet, it appears from the sources the others have cited that these rooms were wired 'by the book.' It's quite possible for a 1957 house to have been built under the 1953 code.
Now ... a related question ....
I noticed that this house had a replacement medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and a light bar cobbled atop it. These are clearly later changes; at the time it was common for the only bath receptacle to be in the base of the lamp over the medicine chest. (With the replacement arrangement, the bath has no receptacles at all).
So, here's the question: was a receptacle even required before we had GFCI's? I would think even a code edition from the 60's could answer this question.
In those days the only thing you might be using in the bathroom was an electric razor or maybe an electric toothbrush charger. It wasn't until the invention of the hair dryer that we started needing serious power in there. I bet more than a few luminaire fixture wires burned up trying to supply a 1500w hair dryer. (that is really about as much as they draw, no matter what the label says)